“Boss, you know you have to call him, right?” Tony watched his boss pace autopsy like a caged lion. When he didn’t reply he continued, “Parker will be suspicious when I'm not home tonight to make dinner.” Kate and McGee looked at the italian curiously as Ducky and Palmer got ready to draw their blood.
“Damn it Dinozzo, don’t you think about skipping out. Your son, your spouse, your phone call,” Gibbs snarled at his Senior field agent. Kate’s eyes bugged out and McGee looked seconds from fainting.
“Come on boss, you know that in like three minutes those Bethesda goons are going to quarantine me and I won’t be able to take any calls.”
“Then you better hurry up,” that was enough to know he wasn’t getting out of this one. Grumbling he walked over to the phone on Ducky’s work desk.
“Woah, woah, Seeley? Parker? Who are they?” agent Todd finally spoke up.
Tony looked over his shoulder at her as he dialed, “My son and my husband,” Timothy passed out, his head almost hitting the autopsy table.
“Oh dear,” Ducky exclaimed as Gibbs began to haul McGee onto one of the tables, “Anthony couldn’t you have done that a bit more tactfully? The poor boy will have quite the goose-egg when he wakes,” Tony shrugged as he listened for Seeley to pick up. And ignored the conversation between his boss and kate.
“Yeah, Booth,” the FBI agent was thankful for the distraction from paper work, he hadn’t gotten a case in a while and was on desk dusty.
“Hey Seeley, it’s Tony, I might not make it home tonight,” the green eyed man cringed when he heard a deep breath from the other end.
“Anthony Dinozzo, I thought you already spoke to Gibbs about how important it is to get home on time! I swear if he tries to make you stay late I will have a little chat--”
“NO!” Tony interrupted, the whole room going quiet, “listen, I . . . I opened a letter today,”
“. . . No, no, Tony, god no please don’t say what I think your going to say,”
“There was a fine white powder inside,” Booth took a deep breath to calm himself, “We don’t know what it is and I might have inhaled some of it. I’ll be at Bethesda until they clear me. I won’t be able to call once I’m at there. Gibbs will keep you posted,” Tony wished he hadn’t opened that damn letter. He heard his husband let out a breath.
“Okay Tony. I’ll see if I can get home early today, I need to be with Parker right now. I will see you again. I love you.” Booth closed his eyes. Considering how he could get a half day from his boss.
“I love you too Seeley,” Tony hung up, then stood there until he realized that autopsy was completely silent.
As Tony spoke to his husband, Kate began to interrogate Gibbs. “Why did you never tell us that he had a family!” she spoke in a harsh whisper, “You would think that would be kind of important.”
Gibbs looked over to her, “Would that really have mattered? All he did was make you look like a fool,” He scowled at her and began to pace again. As she opened her mouth to rebut Ducky decided to step in.
“Dear Caitlin, Anthony chases terrorists with us. I’m sure you can imagine why he has kept his personal life hidden. Family can be used as very efficient leverage,” he looked scoldingly at Kate. She spluttered for a few minutes before finally beginning to understand.
Timothy waved his hand in front of his face to push away the smelling salts and scrunched up his nose, “Ohh, my head hurts. What just happened?” he groaned.
“Tony is on the phone with his husband and we are waiting for Bethesda doctors to get here,” Gibbs deadpanned just before Tony burst out,
“NO!” they all quieted as Tony finished talking to Booth and hung up.
He turned around and saw everyone’s eyes on him and began by addressing Gibbs, “He will be calling for updates Boss. I’ll bet Parker will want to talk to his favorite grandpa later also,” everyone turned to Gibbs in time to see a tiny smile flit across his face. Tony walked over and jumped onto the table Timothy had vacated and Gibbs looked over to him as Ducky drew the boss’ blood.
“You should have given the letter to me,McGee,” he declared.
“I know boss,”
“It’s not McGee’s fault, Tony snatched it out of his hand,” Kate accused.
“So now it’s my bad? Who’s the one not going home to his family tonight?”
“You did grab it Tony,” McGee stated.
“Lame excuse Probie you should have stopped me,” Tony teased.
As Gibbs tried to walk out Donald intercepted him, “Where do you think you’re going?” he asked.
“Find out who sent the letter,”
“Ah, ah, ah you cannot leave autopsy it’s negative pressure. So airborne pathogens can’t contaminate the rest of the building.”
“Ducky I have been scrubbed, sanitized for all I know sterilized. I have an investigation to open, so I can get that bonehead,” he pointed at Dinozzo, “home, hopefully before Parker finds out that his papa might not come home at all,”
“And I have a possible contagion to contain. You know I care for that little boy as much as you but until your blood test clears you I cannot permit you to leave this room,”
“Goodbye nurse Emma,” Kate looked at her partner, her gay partner, her gay partner who flirted with everything in a skirt. She still couldn’t quite wrap her head around it.
“How do you do it?” she asked.
“I’ve been hiding my sexuality my whole life, it wasn’t that hard to fool you, who immediately had me pegged for an idiot skirt-chaser . I've always enjoyed flirting, and it helps get more information out of suspects that would be otherwise uncooperative.” Tony replied watching Kate for any signs of disgust, he couldn’t detect any.
Kate was quiet a while, thinking this over. And finally she reached a conclusion, “Tell me about him,”
Tony was startled that she accepted everything so quickly, “My, my you wouldn’t be a yaoi fangirl would you? Good Catholic girl trying to look in on a little guy on guy action, cause I know some good films, you know Brokeback Mountain right? Starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal,” He leered at her, “I’m sure with enough pushing Seeley might even let you watch us sometime,” Kate laughed at him.
“In your dreams Tony,” she monotoned, “But I am curious as to who would think it was a good idea to raise a kid with you,” she smirked.
“Well, Parker’s three, before I met Booth he was in a relationship with a lady named Rebecca. She got pregnant and tried to run away after she had him pay all the medical expenses. When he took her to court she signed away all parental rights. Then we got together and I legally adopted him when we got our domestic partnership legalized last year. Parker and Seeley are pretty much the best thing that has ever happened to me . . .”
They were both quiet for a while. Laying on the beds staring up at the blue lamps above the bed.
“Oh and he’s a feeb,” Kate laughed.
“Precisely, how do you know these lamps aren’t there to make us think their helping,” Tony looked toward Kate.
“Maybe, because their there, to kill, whatever bugs we breath into the air,” Kate flopped onto her side so she didn’t have to look at her partner. Not even an hour into isolation and she already wanted to kill him.
“You may have a point,” Tony conceded.
“You’re afraid aren’t you,” she said.
“Ha, Kate come on, me afraid? Have you ever seen me afraid?”
“Well not when the danger is something we can confront,” Tony sat up to watch her, “But all we can do here, is lie around. And hope that we’re not infected,”
“Now who’s afraid?”
“Anyone with half a brain . . . ha, I take that back, you’re not afraid,” she rolled over again and snuggled into her pillow. Tony laid back down again, a couple minutes later he spoke.
“You’re right Kate, I’m not afraid . . . I’m scared shitless. Just this morning I hugged my little boy goodbye and put him on a bus to preschool. And now I might not ever get to tell him how proud I am of him. Just this morning I kissed my husband as he rushed off to work. And now I might not ever hold him in my arms again . . . And that does make me feel very afraid,” the only answer he got was the feeling of Nurse Emma’s eyes on him and Kate’s soft snoring.
Tony doesn’t remember much after Brad told him he had the Plague. It was mostly a constant stream of memories. Of Parker and Seeley, of ice cream shared in the park, and a certain trip to the Smithsonian as a family. He remembers thinking I’m sorry I wasn’t strong enough Seeley, I’m sorry I couldn’t watch Parker grow up. I love you, I'm sorry.
“Tony, listen to me . . . You listening?”
“Ahm, hm, listen . . . I’m listening, boss,”
“You will not die. You got that?” *light head-slap* “I said. You. Will not. Die.”
“ . . . I got you boss,”
*Smile* “Good, Parker wanted to know when he can visit his papa,”
A few weeks later around lunch visiting hours Tim and Kate stood in the doorway to Tony’s hospital room, watching his labored breathing. He had been transferred out of the negative pressure room after three days of slow healing. Tony was asleep most of the time, his body trying to fix his lungs.
“Listen Probies, I know you were concerned about me but standing in the doorway isn’t going to help me get better.” They both looked down bashfully, “get in here and tell me about how worried --” a coughing fit hit Tony at that moment and they both rushed forward to help him sit up.
“Tony, why the hell do you do this?” Kate accused, “It’s always you doing stupid shit and almost dying then acting all tough,” Timothy nodded to her words, “It's ridiculous,” another nod, “and if you don’t stop you’re gonna get killed.”
“Don’t both with that agent Todd.” A dark haired male stood in the doorway with a little boy dozing on his shoulder, “I have threatened him more than you ever can and he still wont stay out of trouble,” Tony grinned and held out his hands. The man walked over and deposited the sleeping child into his arms, “He was napping in the car. he has been up since five this morning wanting to come see you.”
“Of course, who wouldn’t want to see their favorite papa?” Tony smirked. “Probie, Kate this is Seeley Booth, FBI, and our son Parker,” Seeley smiled and shook their hands.
“It’s great to finally meet you. Tony won’t shut up about the computer McGeek and Caitlin the only woman agent who actually banters with him,” Tony tried to shush him as both junior agents smirked at him.
Parker began to shift and mumbled something sounding suspiciously like ‘mamma’. Lifting his head finally, and blinking away the sleep, he spotted Tony.
“MAMMA!” He screamed and squished his face against the man’s chest, causing him to start coughing. Timothy and Kate were torn between laughing at what the boy said and trying to help Tony calm his breathing again.
Once Tony could talk he pulled Parker’s face up to look him in the eye, “Hey buddy, I thought we were done with the whole ‘mamma’ routine,” Parker shook his head vigorously, “Why don’t you call me papa?” the boy averted his eyes and tried to hide his face.
After a few minutes he spoke again, “Because papa is what some kids call their daddies. And daddy is already daddy so you have to be mamma,”
Seeley grinned at his husband while Timothy and Kate tried to stifle their laughter, “I don’t know why you struggle Tony. He is not going to relent no matter how much you try,” the laughter got a little bit louder.
Tony sighed, “Well, at least I got Gibbs to stop calling me Parker’s mamma,” boisterous laughter of two junior NCIS agents could be heard throughout the ward.